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Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal
Atlantic history, with its emphasis on inter-regional developments that transcend national borders, has risen to prominence as a fruitful perspective through which to study the interconnections among Europe, North America, Latin America, and Africa. These original essays present a comprehensive and incisive look at how Atlantic history has been interpreted across time and ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published December 31st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published December 1st 2008)
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This book is for the serious student of the Atlantic world-what it is and is not as a historical field, how the early modern Atlantic was built, by whom it was built, when it existed, where the strength and the weaknesses of the field lie, and why it is valid as a field of study. Rare for a book of articles, those article are uniformly well-written and on topic whilst being the clear expression of individual scholars of great merit. Not an easy read, but an important one for historians from the ...more
Sometimes this came off a little pretentious, especially in the later, more methodologically focused chapters. Although I really enjoyed his book, "Innocence Abroad," I was disappointed with Benjamin Schmidt's chapter on the Dutch, which opens with the cliche that there *is* no Dutch Atlantic. (It was cute when Steven Shapin did it with the Scientific Revolution, but now it is getting old.) Overall, the text was largely self-deprecating. Rather than advancing ideas of how Atlantic approaches are ...more
This compilation of articles from Atlantic History and the African Diaspora for the most part is well written, clear as to what Atlantic History is and is not, and possesses a sound bibliography. I did not care for the more proselytizing tone that Jack P. Greene and Peter H. Wood adopted as trying to move Atlantic History to Hemispheric History, so that they could receive the credit for moving history to the next "hot trend." I preferred Philip D. Morgan's article much more. I particular appreci ...more